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On the Edge

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,725 ratings  ·  257 reviews
Richard Hammond is one of our most in-demand and best-loved television presenters. On September 20, 2006, he suffered a serious brain injury following a high-speed car crash, and the nation held its breath. On the Edge is his compelling account of life before and after the accident and an honest description of his year of recovery, full of drama and incident. It is also, p ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Orion Publishing (first published September 20th 2007)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  3,725 ratings  ·  257 reviews


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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
On the Edge This is an excellent book, I listen to it a couple of years ago as an audiobook, but bought it now because 1.) It was so good I want to read it again and 2.) It will look smashing on my bookshelf 3.) I have a bit of a Top Gear obsession (and I’m not even a car fan.

But anyway, if you are after a great autobiographical book, then this is one I wholeheartedly recommend! I do btw recommend the audio book because both Richard and his wife Mindy is narrating the book, with Mindy taking ove
...more
Sharon
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
June 10, 2017: Richard Hammond was involved in another serious crash today on the set of "The Grand Tour." Luckily, he was able to remove himself from the car before it burst into flames. Best wishes to Hammond!

I love Richard Hammond; his wit, humor, love for adventure, and constant smile remind me of my husband, who introduced me to Top Gear when we met two and a half years ago. Oftentimes during an episode of Top Gear--and now, The Grand Tour--my husband will turn to me, motion to silly, bubb
...more
Shelley
May 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noora, maybe Rory, and others who love Top Gear
Shelves: media
The Hamster is one of the presenters on the UK car show Top Gear. A few years ago, he was doing a stunt for the show - driving a jet powered car at speeds over 300mph. On the seventh run, the front tire blew out and catapulted the car head over trunk a few times before coming to a stop, thanks to his head and the roller rack. This book, while dipping a bit into his childhood to explain why he thought driving a jet powered car would be a good idea, is mainly about the aftermath of that incident. ...more
Louisa O'Donnell
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I should start by saying I never read biographies. I gave this one a go because I like Richard Hammond and I was interested in the whole crash/recovery business. The middle section of the book had me hooked, I found myself hoping he'd be okay despite the obvious, but the bits around the middle were kind of slow going and I found that I wasn't really as invested in the story as I thought I was.
Cate
If you, or anyone in your life is suffering from the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), this autobiography written by one of the UK’s most loved auto show presenters is a must read for you. Hammond is one of the trio that presents the UK version of Top Gear and for those who have seen the show they will automatically know to what incident in his life this book centres on. For those who haven’t, but are still looking for an informative and moving read, this maybe the book you are looking ...more
Hayley
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. God.

I am a HUUUUUGGGGGE Top Gear fan, and my Dad likes to be part of that by buying me books by Jeremy Clarkson. When he saw this, he bought this one for me too, because (like every female of a certain age) I have a crush on Richard Hammond.

This was written by Richard after he was in a very serious car accident a few years ago. He discusses some of his dare-devil antics prior to the accident, the accident itself, and some of the aftermath. The aftermath of the crash was written in conjun
...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Oh how I teared up in parts of this.

I have so much respect for this man - because he was careful to include the bad times during this ordeal. It wasn't a book thanking the staff and the network and his friends and family, no. It was saying how hard it all was, and how he acted badly in some parts or how hard he was to get along with, etc. He gave us the true story, which I don't think happens every time with these kinds of books.

I love him more for it. I read it on the way home from England in m
...more
Peter
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
On the Edge - Richard Hammond
Weidenfiled & Nicolson
isbn 13 978 0 85327 5

When a national TV star has a serious accident in the course of his work it is BIG news. That is how things are these days. The viewer builds up some sort of relationship with the person on the small(ish) screen. So Richard's jet car accident was a big deal. The newspapers and the TV and radio news not only reported his crash, but also to some extent his recovery. This book is Richards record, for public consumption, of that
...more
Charlotte
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody.
Shelves: favourites
Let me just start off by saying that this is probably one of the best books I have ever read.

The book starts with Richard [Hammond] himself talking about a skiing challenge he had to do as part of Top Gear after the crash, and how it affected his balance. He then, from chapter two, goes on to talk about his life from when he was a child - about his family, his brothers, the normal boyish things he did to hurt himself so that the attention would be on him, and finally, his developing love for car
...more
Steffi
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a really great read about Richard's jet car crash that happened in 2006. It was so much more than what I thought it would it be. Not to say that I didn't think it would be interesting. I knew that it was about the crash from both Richard and his wife Mindy's POV of what happened before and after the crash. But I didn't know it would go into such depth of what really went on at the hospital and at their getaway home. The story was arranged wonderfully starting off with the crash having a ...more
AndrewP
I don't think there are many people, familiar with Richard Hammond, who don't like him. As well as one of the three guys on Top Gear, he has been on several other shows (check out Braniac if you can find it). As such, he's defiantly one of the UK's favorite TV presenters.

This book has a short introduction documenting his childhood and early career leading up to his job on Top Gear. The other 90% of the book is from when he had the near fatal crash driving a jet powered dragster. He barely walke
...more
Milan Žila
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to go for the abridged audiobook and then I read a review that said "unabridged would be better". Well, it wasn't :)
So many unnecessary details. I should've known from the start where the author descibes his childhood bicycle stunt for what feels like a hundred pages.
If you like Top Gear and want to know more about the crash I seriously recommend you start reading from the part where he gets to the jet car. Before there are parts where he describes what ailments the dog had and why and
...more
Dustin
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I initially read this book because I was an avid Top Gear Fan. I was looking to learn more about "the Hamster" and specifically about the crash that nearly ended his life. Search it out if you've never heard of it. What i ended up reading was so much more. This book is Richards life story. Who he is now, who he was before the crash, and what appears to be a very honest look into head trauma and recovery told by two sides (Richard and his Wife).

Moreover, as someone who has worked with helmet desi
...more
S
Nov 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Shoddy, cliche writing, but he's too lovable for me to mind much.
Helen
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though I don't drive and I'm not 'into' cars, I have enjoyed watching many episodes of 'Top Gear', and also watched the 'Hamster's' science programmes with interest. Along with thousands of others, I was horrified to hear of Richard's accident, and relieved that he has recovered from it so well. This honest account made for moving reading.
Soho_Black
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books, reviewed
Like many loyal fans, I was delighted by the return of "Top Gear" to BBC 2 in 2007, especially after events in the autumn of 2006 gave us a belief that the show might be taken off the air permanently. This was the result of a very serious accident suffered by one of the show's presenters, Richard Hammond and led to an international outpouring of grief and support for him and his family.

The beauty of Hammond's TV work, no matter what programme it's on, is that he makes it all look so much fun and
...more
Michelle
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
I have been watching Top Gear UK for at least six years, and I absolutely love the show. I admit, I'm not a car person at all (I only ask for a little car that works, I can operate without having a spaz and dissolving into tears, is reasonably priced, and can get me from point A to point B), but apparently watching three middle-aged English men do utterly ridiculous challenges and road trips with cars while treating their hijinks as completely normal everyday events is hilarious. So, naturally, ...more
Georgia
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographical
I've always had a fondness for Richard Hammond. I adore Top Gear and some of the other shows he's been involved with have been really good too. I borrowed this book from a friend because it sounded interested, and jeez, what an understatement. I started reading this midmorning and had finished it the afternoon, all in one sitting. I've never been so compelled by an autobiography before, so emotionally moved.

On September 20th 2006, Richard Hammond suffered brain damage after crashing in a jet-po
...more
Dark-Draco
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I don't usually go in for 'celebrity' biographies, but I do like Hammond as a presenter and have met him a few times, so I decided that I had to read it. It's different to other biographies in that it isn't a blow-by-blow account of a life only vaguely interesting - instead it purely focuses on his accident and recovery, with the only flashbacks the reader is given being relevant to that.

It's an easy read - the style is simple and yet descriptive, interesting and yet entertaining. Hammond's sens
...more
Michaela
This is seriously one of the best books I have ever read. Yes, I may be biased because I am a MASSIVE Top Gear fan, but it is still a very touching and honest telling of what drove Richard to get into that Dragster back in 2006, and when Mindy takes over to tell the part of the story that Richard is unable to, I have to admit I was holding back tears - something I've only ever had to do once with a book before (HP and the Deathly Hallows, since you ask). From a TG fan perspective it gives great ...more
Dane Cobain
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Now, I should preface this by pointing out that I’m not exactly a massive Richard Hammond fan – I don’t hate the guy, and he doesn’t annoy me as much as Jeremy Clarkson, but neither do I worship his every move and catch every programme that he creates. In fact, I’m not even sure how I came to own this book – I probably bought it on a whim at a charity shop.

And really, it does exactly what you’d expect it to – it covers the majority of Hammond’s life, with a particular focus on the car crash that
...more
Laini
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Whilst filming an episode of Top Gear, driving an extremely fast jet powered car, Richard Hammond was in a horfic crash. He survived, however with severe head trauma. This is his story of the crash and his recovery, partly written by his wife Mindy who chronicles the days and weeks after the crash when Richard's short term memory problems means he has very few memories of this time.

As always Richard's sections are full of wit and humour. I laughed out loud, I cringed when he mentioned that befo
...more
Grey853
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
Richard Hammond is one of the presenters of the hit BBC series TOP GEAR. It's supposed to be all about cars, but it's not. It's about the people who love them and drive them. It's about the guys on the show mocking and having a laugh at the others expense. It's just much more than another "car" show.

That said, wow, I had no idea that Richard Hammond is a miracle man. I knew he'd had a serious jet car crash in 2006, but I had no clue about how serious it was or how he managed to recover to the po
...more
Steve Caram
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this autobiography by Richard Hammond extremely intriguing. Top Gear UK is my favorite television show and when I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. It goes into detail about a terrible accident that Richard Hammond suffered when he crashed a jet powered drag race car in 2006 while filming for Top Gear. He was going over 300 mph when one of the front tires on the car burst. This caused the car to barrel roll multiple times and take heavy damage. Hammond was later rushed to th ...more
Lady Makaveli
I love reading auto-biographies and this is by far one of my favorite reads. Richard Hammond is not only talented with cars and television hosting, but also with writing. It must have been very difficult to share so many intimate moments, but he did, so that no one suffering from the horror of brain damage would have to feel alone; so that they know there is hope. Not only has he given hope to those with brain injuries like his, but he has given me hope, too. I have ptsd and that is trauma to th ...more
Linda
Aug 28, 2008 rated it liked it
An interesting insight into the trauma of and recovery from a brain injury from the viewpoint of the patient and his wife. Richard Hammond, one of the presenters on Top Gear, leads into his accident with a jet-powered car and subsequent brain injury with a short look at his life and his career with Top Gear up to the moment of the accident. His wife, Mindy, then continues with a recount of her reactions and subsequent journey with Richard as he fights to regain his life and heal his brain.

Though
...more
Gini
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to a dear friend, I have been turned into a Top Gear fan. This book is the story of the almost fatal accident suffered by "the short bloke off that car show," as Hammond frequently refers to himself. A catastrophic tire blowout during a 300+ mph run of a jet car. The car flipped and Hammond was slammed headfirst into the ground when the roll cage bars literally buried themselves into the ground. While he suffered very little in the way of external physical injury, his brain hit the front ...more
Lin
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second reading of this book, the first being when the book was originally released, a few months after Hammond's accident in 2006.
The book provides a fascinating insight into the effects of the accident and the brain damage both on Richard and on his family, with the story telling shared between Richard and his wife Mindy.
I did find the time line a little unclear at times - I still have clear memories of the days following the accident, and the events that followed, such as when Rich
...more
Riss
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this ages ago, it's honestly an amazing read. He takes you through his life leading up to Top Gear and what happened, gives you a glimpse into what being him is like. You get to see a side of Hammond that you don't see on the show, that he's really very much like a child begging to go faster, do something a little crazier, and just do things for the sake of doing them.

What I liked was reading his wifes part and how she had to deal with the struggles as well having kids, a house, pets, and
...more
Paul
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book that really pulls on the heart strings.
It's not a life story per-say. We get a little insight into Hammond's reasoning for being a dare devil, his early career and how he landed his dream job on Top Gear but it's nothing extensive. That for me is the book's only downside.
What we get in great detail is the events leading up to his crash in the jet car which led to having critical brain damage and how he managed to make a full recovery.
A large chunk of the book is written by Richa
...more
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Richard Hammond is a British TV presenter, most noted for co-hosting car programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and James May, as well as presenting Brainiac: Science Abuse on Sky1, Should I Worry About...? on BBC One and Total Wipeout, also on BBC One and Richard Hammonds Blast Lab on CBBC. He has also presented several one-off specials such as ITV's The Gunpowder Plot: Exploding The Legend ...more

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